Service Animals, Emotional Support, and Guide Dogs7558845
Sadly, some individuals are asking whether "service animal" laws are increasingly being abused by people who want to scam the system.
There have been news stories, articles, opinion pieces as well as other editorials where people rant and complain about people they think to be abusing the device. You hear some complain they had to sit near your dog at a restaurant they don't believe can be a "real" service dog, or others complain that the neighbors have a pet in the "no pet" building because they claimed the pet is emotional support animal.
A few of the commentary posseses an indignant tone, and some people are downright angry.
How can this affect those who legitimately own and use a service animal to better their lives? In several ways.
For one, it may it more challenging to navigate bureaucracy on the planet when your claim of your disability and your service or emotional support animal's status is questioned. If a landlord or company owner has heard negative stories claiming that some individuals are abusing the system, it can cause them to look suspiciously at all claimants.
Some landlord and business people have begun requesting proof of status, even though asking for written or other evidence is not always legal, and although many those who own legitimate service animals and emotional support animals haven't taken advantage of registering them, and so have no such documentation to produce.
It is the suspicious attitude and illegal demands of some landlords and companies that make registrations services like the Service Animal Registry of California so important legitimate owners.
Although registration is optional, it can benefit shortcut the housing rental and business access issues if the owner can certainly produce a simple document that may often match the owner or landlord. Also, when using public spaces, it is usually easier to give over a document having a simple sentence stating, "This is a service animal" and letting another party see the information, as opposed to having a long-winded protracted conversation (or even worse, argument) in public places, with onlookers listening in and gathering across the discussion.
So, do some people scam the machine, or game regulations? Sadly, the answer is "probably yes." In your life, there is always room for abuse and individuals can attempt to take advantage of many systems that people as a society set up to protect the rights of those who need such protection. As an example, many drivers falsely display disabled parking placards to benefit from free and convenient parking. Not forgetting the number of people that lie on their own tax returns, claim improper tax deductions, abuse shop return policies, or do other bad acts.
However that percentage of abuse, which around service animal laws is hopefully small, could well be a very small price to pay when compared to the higher objective of promoting access and equality for all.
In the end, you cannot control any system to make it 100% abuse proof. So tolerating the not enough people who scam service animal laws is the price we gladly pay to ensure the disabled within the great condition of California have equal access under law.